I’m going to write up a review of all three together sometime the week after next week as it’ll be a good way to review not only individually but how well they perform when working all together. I’ve just ran a device information tool called “Battery Memory System Status Monitor” and it is amazing how an extra 1GB (bringing the total memory to 2GB) makes when it comes to smooth operation, tabs not reloading, switching between applications without lag or delay. I loaded all my music onto the phone and the battery life is exceptionally good so the die shrink and efficiency gains with the A9 have really come through. Oh, and recent benchmarks have put the A9 in the iPhone 6S in the same league as the entry level CPU used in the MacBook. Although they’re two different architectures, RISC (ARM) vs. CISC (x86), it does serve as an interesting guide when it comes to speculating about the future direction of Apple’s relationship with Intel. I say that when you consider the difficulty that Intel is experience with die shrinkage which for many years have given them an edge when it comes to performance per watt but have we reached the point where fabricators will catch up with Intel thus the architecture will once again become a major factor in performance per watt with Apple’s ARM custom ARM design in the form of an A9X.
Regarding El Capitan, I’m running the public beta of 10.11.1 so when 10.11 finally ships I’ll move back to the stable version for both my desktop and laptop along with upgrading my sisters laptop to 10.11 as well which should yield improvements in terms of performance. It’ll be interesting to see how future software titles take advantage of Metal and whether we’ll see more system components moved to being based on Metal as the framework becomes more feature complete as a drop in replacement for Vulkan and OpenGL. In the case of Metal you have the Metal Framework which is the lowest level and the Metal Kit framework which sits on top of Metal that provides lots of higher level functionality that you could implement manually but to make life easier for programmers Apple chooses to provide a higher level kit. When it comes to Vulkan/OpenGL and Metal/Metal Kit then I’d say that over time Metal will remain very much a low level layer but Metal Kit will fill in that gap which OpenGL used to fill in terms of the more high level abstraction. Looking forward a few years it’ll be interesting to see what happens when it comes to third party adoption but given the benefits vs. OpenGL along with even Adobe, a company notorious for their slow adoption of new technology, saw merit in it when El Capitan was shown off at WWDC 2015 and it appears that we’ll be see updates soon which will take advantage of Metal based on the demos which showed significant improvements in terms of real time rendering.